Monday, December 16, 2019 | ePaper

Turkey hold Iceland to reach Euro 2020 alongside France

  • Print


Members of Turkey Football team celebrate after making a goalless draw with Iceland in UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying first round football match on Thursday.

Agency :
Turkey booked their place at Euro 2020 on Thursday after a goalless qualifying draw with Iceland which also sent world champions France to next year's finals.
With two teams qualifying from Group H, leaders Turkey are four points ahead of third-placed Iceland with one match remaining after the stalemate in Istanbul, with France a point behind Turkey in second.
"We are so happy that we have qualified for the Euro. Now we have one more game to play, and then we'll focus our clubs until March," said Turkey's Leicester defender Caglar Soyuncu.
Iceland needed to win to have any chance of qualifying thanks to their inferior head-to-head record with the French but will now have to hope they make the playoffs at the end of the qualifying phase.
"We came here four points adrift and Turkey are such a strong team. We did everything we could," said Iceland forward Mikael Anderson.
"We came close to getting the result we wanted, but it wasn't enough."
Didier Deschamps' France would have qualified for the Euros with a win over Moldova later on Thursday regardless of the result between Iceland and the Turks-who have been rejuvenated since Senol Gunes returned to take charge in February-and can now move top of the group.
Former national team goalkeeper Gunes took Turkey to third place at the 2002 World Cup during his first spell as manager between 2000 and 2004, and guided his team to qualification with relative ease, beating and drawing with France and losing only one match.
That upturn in form comes after a dreadful slump under previous coach Mircea Lucescu that saw Turkey fail to qualify for the last year's World Cup in Russia and relegated to third-tier League C in the UEFA Nations League.
The hosts largely kept Iceland at bay in a match of few chances, but had to thank Merih Demiral for making sure of qualification when he brilliantly cleared Hordur Magnusson's header off the line with eight minutes to go.
That was Iceland's only shot on target of the whole match, and sparked a frantic finale as the away side pressed for a winner and Turkey looked to snatch the win on the break.
Both sides had good attempts blocked by defenders as the clock ticked down, and Yusuf Yazici almost won the match in dramatic style when his daring lob beat Hannes Halldorsson but grazed the bar.

More News For this Category

Barca pegged back by Real Sociedad after Ter Stegen error

Barca pegged back by Real Sociedad after Ter Stegen error

Barcelona gave Real Madrid the chance to go top of La Liga ahead of Wednesday's Clasico at Camp Nou as they were held to a 2-2 draw by high-flying Real

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (3rd left) celebrates with teammates after scoring his sides first goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Watford at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England on Saturday.

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (3rd left) celebrates with teammates after scoring his sides first goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Liverpool and Watford at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, England on Saturday.

Salah stretches Liverpool lead to 10 as Leicester stumble

Liverpool tightened their grip on the Premier League title race thanks to two Mohamed Salah goals in a 2-0 win over Watford which extended their lead at the top to

Napoli beaten 2-1 by Parma in Gattuso's debut

Napoli beaten 2-1 by Parma in Gattuso's debut

AP, Rome :Gennaro Gattuso has his work cut out for him as Napoli's new coach.The Partenopei conceded an injury-time winner in a 2-1 loss at home to Parma on Saturday

3,000 police and security for rescheduled 'Clasico'

3,000 police and security for rescheduled 'Clasico'

Some 3,000 police officers and private security agents will be deployed for the rescheduled 'Clasico' between Barcelona and Real Madrid next week, local officials said Friday, amid renewed fears of

Argentine Lavezzi retires after 'amazing' and lucrative career

Argentine Lavezzi retires after 'amazing' and lucrative career

Argentine international forward Ezequiel Lavezzi confirmed on Friday that he was retiring from playing at the age of 34, ending "the most amazing phase life has given me."Lavezzi played 51

Rashford adds finishing touch to become complete striker

Rashford adds finishing touch to become complete striker

Marcus Rashford has always had the tools to become a world-class forward. Now he has added a clinical touch to his searing pace and box of tricks.The 22-year-old already has

Rooney admits frustration as he waits for Derby debut

Rooney admits frustration as he waits for Derby debut

Wayne Rooney has admitted his frustration at being forced to wait until January to play for Championship side Derby.The former Manchester United and England captain is unable to make his

Record buy Sanches keeps Lille on Champions League course

Record buy Sanches keeps Lille on Champions League course

AFP, Paris :Renato Sanches scored a spectacular late winner to give Lille a 2-1 victory over Montpellier on Friday as a fourth successive Ligue 1 triumph kept them on course

Greenwood, Saka star as United and Arsenal youth shine in Europa League

Greenwood, Saka star as United and Arsenal youth shine in Europa League

AFP, Paris :Teenager Mason Greenwood again grabbed his chances for Manchester United, scoring twice in a 4-0 thrashing of AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League on Thursday.Earlier Arsenal came